Doubling Down in a Blackjack game is where, after you’ve been dealt your first 2 cards, you multiply your initial bet by 2X in return for just 1 extra card. Your choice between Hitting or Staying is removed, and as risky as it is, if you use it properly, doubling down can net you huge rewards.
When to Double Down
The first rule of Basic Blackjack Strategy says you must assume that all unseen cards are worth 10 points and remembering this is vital when it comes to Doubling Down. You’ll only use this move when the combined total of your cards is 11 or less. That way, no matter what you’re dealt after Doubling Down, you’ll never go Bust.
Always take the dealer’s upcard into account too, and use this tactic when they’ve been dealt a potentially weak hand, with their up-card showing anything between 2 and 7. In cases where the dealer’s showing a 10-point card, you should still Double Down on 11s, but use your judgement if you’re holding 10 points, and avoid this move totally if your points total is 9.
Doubling Down gets tricky when you have two cards that form a low total and when you have an Ace and a number card. In both these positions, you’re able to take a Hit without Busting, and, if the dealer’s showing anything between 2 and 6, you’ll want to think carefully about Doubling Down in the hope that they go over 21.
As with many decisions at the Blackjack table, however, you’ll need to find a balance between odds and instinct. For example, let’s say that the dealer has been running hot, not Busting much and creating great hands even when initially handed a bad combination. We’d recommend avoiding this tactic at this time.
A Key to Winning
If you keep your Blackjack gameplay totally straight, never Splitting or Doubling Down, you’re reducing your chances of going home a winner to almost 0%. You’ll need a whole heap of luck to get through games successfully this way and this approach will definitely work against you in the long run.
Don’t be too afraid of pressing your bet and make the Double Down when it’s a good option to do so. You’re playing to win, after all, and there are times where you’re going to have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
The whole point of 21 is the thrill and action it delivers. You’re playing to have fun and make a little extra money, maybe, and, fortunately, these two situations regularly go hand in hand!
Get up to date on Basic Blackjack Strategy, don’t be overcautious, but don’t play wildly either. Double your stake when your gut, the game, and luck seem to be working alongside one another and you’ll find your instincts becoming more on-point and your overall enjoyment of 21 increasing exponentially.
Doubling Down allows you to actively impact the outcome of your 21 experience and there’s no way to get around having to learn when, and how, to best use this manoeuvre.